It’s no secret that fall in Michigan is one of the most magical times of the year. What’s surprising to me is that there is still some debate about which season is the best in the mitten state. I thought this would be the perfect time to explain why fall in the Great Lake State is the superior season.
1. Fewer Crowds
It’s understandable why the campgrounds fill months to a year in advance here in Michigan. If you took a bird eyes view of the shoreline of any of our great lakes during the summer you’ll see the beaches filled with tons of visitors enjoying the sunshine and water.
What if I told you that the first few weeks of September are actually my favorite time to enjoy a dip in Lake Michigan? The summer crowds are headed back to their routine but the waters have been warming up all summer long and are still the perfect temperature to take a swim.
If you are a rock hunter you know that typically spring is praised as the best time to find your treasures but I have found that I have just as much luck on an early autumn morning at finding some of my favorite Michigan minerals.
2. Things Are Falling Back into Place
Everyone knows summer can be hectic. I feel that as much as I try to slow down during those warmer months circumstances seem to invite plans one after another.
There is always a new playground to check out, a beach to visit, or a friend to see. Parades, barbeques, and vacations seem to chip away at the bit of break you have with your children before the school year begins.
Our family personally loves the slowdown that the end of summer encourages. Calendars are cleared and invitations are more easily declined as you prepare for the school year.
With the knowledge that we no longer have open-ended days to explore as much as our free will allows I notice myself becoming more intentional with the afternoons and weekends, we do have.
3. The Foliage
Are you surprised that you have scrolled down this list this far without hearing me mention the leaves? I couldn’t give the gimme right at the beginning.
I believe I could argue that the crisp air mixed with the changing colors makes the autumn season in Michigan the best time in our great state alone. Maybe I should have started there now that I think of it.
Watching the leaves dance as the wind blows the changing foilage to the ground is one of my favorite things to do.
While many head up north to enjoy the magnificent backdrops, there are hidden gems scattered throughout the state. There is no shortage of the best places to take in the fall colors. Maybe it’s in your own backyard or the trail behind your kid’s school.
The towering canopies changing colors are found all over the state and oftentimes you’ll find my car pulled over to stop and leaf peep. While it’s always fun to go on a little road trip to take in some of the colors changing, the great thing about fall in Michigan is that the beautiful colors can be appreciated just about anywhere you are
4. You’ll Find Me at the Farm
If you are an apple or pumpkin fan, undoubtedly fall is your time to shine. The cider mills, pumpkin patches, and farm stands typically open from late August to mid-November with some variations in between.
A weekly visit to the farm for a hot cider and donut is how we spend most of our autumn. Many mills and patches will add family-friendly activities such as playgrounds, corn mazes, hayrides, and more.
If you haven’t been sold yet that fall in Michigan is the best season of all hear me out. Invite your favorite person, pack a blanket, and take a drive to your nearest cider mill. Grab a hot cider, a donut, and a ticket for a hayride. Stop in the orchard.
Spend the morning picking a peck of fresh apples and enjoy your cider and donut surrounded by the apple trees. If this doesn’t make you a forever fall fan I am not sure what will but there is almost nothing better than enjoying a crisp morning at the orchard.
5. Getting Outside and Staying Outside is Easier than Ever
While a Michigan summer can be spent doing some of my favorite activities such as swimming, hiking, and water sports sometimes the heat and bugs can make even the most memorable summer borderline miserable.
What I love about fall in Michigan is that getting outside and enjoying an active day is easier than many more of the months. The summer humidity has taken a backseat and you have yet to wear layer upon layer of clothes that winter month requires.
The Michigan insects such as the mosquitos are more bearable and some autumns almost disappear entirely. I make a list of my favorite places to take in a fall hike and note the time around each place begins to change colors and spend the autumn visiting these familiar favorites taking in the fall foliage while enjoying the great outdoors without having to shower myself in bug repellant.
With the milder weather oftentimes a few hours can fly by and I realize that we have spent most of our day outdoors. Ending an active day around a crackling fire, a hoodie on, a cup of cider in hand, and the smell of fall in the air is an activity unmatched and truly sends autumn to the very top of the best season in Michigan list.
The List Could Go on and On
The list of why I believe fall is the best Michigan season could go and on but I think the main reason that I love autumn so much is all the joy it brings me. Simple pleasures and memories that I am able to make with my family.
While some entertain that January 1st is the true mark of a fresh start I would argue that it is truly a Michigan fall. The change in the air motivates me in a way that I just can’t find in the dead of a Michigan winter.
Whether it’s the fall colors, apple orchards, or newfound hope for the year, nothing quite compares to fall in Michigan.